Grantham North Services
The main services building
Grantham North Services is located in Lincolnshire
Grantham North Services
Grantham North Services
Location within Lincolnshire
Coordinates:52°56′52″N 0°40′44″W / 52.947695°N 0.678815°W / 52.947695; -0.678815
OperatorMoto Hospitality
Date opened1 January 1964
WebsiteMoto[permanent dead link]

Grantham North Services is a service area operated by Moto located on the A1 at Gonerby Moor Roundabout, four miles north of Grantham in Lincolnshire, England. The service station has a main car park and coach/lorry park, off which is a BP petrol station.

It lies in the parish of Great Gonerby, south of College Farm. It is the only motorway service station in Lincolnshire, which has no motorways (excluding North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire). Very few people refer to it as Grantham North, and is ubiquitously known as the Gonerby Moor Service Area.


Main building

Tony's Cafe

Tony's cafe cost £120,000 in 1963[1] The planning for the new service area was discussed at a West Kesteven planning meeting on Saturday 25 January 1963, with chairman Wing Commander Albert McCreary, of Hough-on-the-Hill.[2]

The site opened on Wednesday 1 January 1964.[3] On the new Gonerby site would be a transport cafe, and a restaurant for the lounge suit and cardigan crowd, as the two groups of people, if using the same restaurant, would just make one another uncomfortable. The new plans for the 13 acre site included a motel; Tony Wakley had toured the US, to look at motels. He wanted to build a transport cafe to be more like a workers canteen.

The two owners were Anthony George Wakley (22 January 1921 - 15 September 1997) and Phillip Edward Wakley. From around 1952, their previous site was known as Tony's Place; this former site served around 2,000 to 3,000 meals a day.[4]

Phillip married Ethel Haddock at St Botolph's Church, Boston on 31 July 1943, with Tony being best man; Phillip (3 October 1920 - 18 August 1982) also worked at BMARC; before the war, Phillip had worked as a joiner in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire.[5][6]

Tony married on Monday 27 December 1943 to Phyllis Dawson, of the Seacroft Hotel of Drummond Road in Skegness, when Tony was a Corporal in the RAF, at St Matthew's church in Skegness.[7] His parents lived on Oakleigh Road, off Dysart Road, in Grantham, but he grew up in Stickford.[8] Both brothers were scouts in the 1st Stickford Group.[9] Tony also owned Westgate Fisheries in Grantham, which opened on 10 February 1948.[10] Bad weather and Blue Lias clay held up bypass in 1961.[11]

His mother, Alice, ran the cafe at night. Ministry of Transport figures found that around 30% of HGVs on the A1 stopped at Tony's Cafe; Tony's Cafe was almost as well known on the A1 as Watford Gap services was on the M1. In 1964 a breakfast at Tony's Cafe could cost 2s 3d, which was good value. The cafe was discussed in the House of Commons on 17 February 1964 at around 10pm, with Farthing Corner and Newport Pagnell.[12] The filling station would be built later. The site was 14 acres, in a Swedish-style, with 26 staff.

The service area had many pint mugs go missing, as souvenirs, in 1967, so car drivers were only allowed half-pint mugs.[13][14][15]

In 1968 Tony applied for a table drinks licence for the restaurant. [16] and on Thursday 18 April 1968, Spitalgate licensing magistrates agreed to his application.[17]

Trust House Forte

The site was owned by Trust House Forte in the 1980s and 1990s, under their Welcome Break group.

Forte opened the redeveloped site in early 1972 as Grantham Service Area.[18] The Little Chef opened in September 1980; the Little Chef closed in 2008.[19] The Granary Self Service opened in 1984, being open 24 hours, and seated 162. In 1985 the site served 2.5m people. It was known as Motor Chef in the 1980s; Motor Chef was started by THF in 1974; by 1979, there were 14 Motor Chefs across the country.

In the early 1970s, the site had a RAC service centre, with a transmitter on Gonerby Hill, and microwave direct link to Copt Oak, on the M1.


The service area was much redeveloped in January 1986, to largely what it now is.[20] It became Welcome Break from June 1988. All THF service stations became Welcome Break at the end of May 1988. [21] Until then, Welcome Break had five service stations (former Ross), being headquartered at Leicester Forest East from 1984, being bought by THF for £190m on 21 July 1986.[22][23]

It became Granada Hospitality by 1996. The site was known as Grantham North from 1998, or thereabouts.


The service station is now accessed via a grade separated junction on the A1 after the original Gonerby Moor roundabout was improved during 2008.

The Grantham South services (opened on Tuesday 5 September 1989[24]) are at Colsterworth, also owned by Moto, and included a Little Chef.[25]


  1. ^ Nottingham Evening Post Thursday 28 June 1962, page 9
  2. ^ Grantham Journal Friday 1 February 1963, page 4
  3. ^ Nottingham Guardian Journal Thursday 2 January 1964, page 1
  4. ^ The Guardian April 23 1963, page 14
  5. ^ Lincolnshire Standard Saturday 7 August 1943, page 5
  6. ^ Grantham Journal Friday 27 August 1982, page 7
  7. ^ Skegness News Wednesday 29 December 1943, page 3
  8. ^ Grantham Journal Friday 24 April 1981, page 19
  9. ^ Lincolnshire Standard Saturday 22 April 1939, page 12
  10. ^ Grantham Journal Friday 30 January 1948, page 1
  11. ^ Nottingham Evening Post Thursday 11 October 1962, page 12
  12. ^ February 1964 discussion
  13. ^ Daily Herald Thursday 2 January 1964, page 7
  14. ^ Nottingham Evening Post Friday 6 January 1967, page 18
  15. ^ Daily Mirror Thursday 5 January 1967, page 10 'Pint mugs ban - for the toffs' (also includes unfortunate spelling error in the article)
  16. ^ Grantham Journal Friday 29 March 1968, page 12
  17. ^ Grantham Journal Friday 19 April 1968, page 2
  18. ^ Nottingham Evening Post Saturday 29 January 1972, page 9
  19. ^ Grantham Journal Friday 19 September 1980, page 11
  20. ^ Grantham Journal Friday 24 January 1986, page 21
  21. ^ Lincolnshire Echo Friday 27 May 1988, page 6
  22. ^ The Scotsman Tuesday 22 July 1986, page 17
  23. ^ Grimsby Evening Telegraph Monday 18 January 1988
  24. ^ Grantham Journal Friday 1 September 1989, page 30
  25. ^ "Grantham South". Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 15 August 2011.